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New Hampshire

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When you adopt Green Bits as your dispensary POS in New Hampshire, you gain a partner who has been leading the industry since 2014, guiding the conversation, and delivering the best technology for point of sale, inventory management, and compliance.
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New Hampshire passed medical marijuana legislation in 2013. The medical cannabis environment in New Hampshire is strict compared to many others throughout the United States – patients are only allowed to use cannabis products after all other treatment methods have failed.

The medical marijuana industry in New Hampshire is small, but dedicated. Full legalization was unsuccessfully put to vote in 2014, and decriminalization efforts took place in 2017. However, recreational use remains illegal, and the legal framework medical marijuana dispensaries must adhere to is strictly regulated.

New Hampshire Regulations

Do I need a dispensary license to operate in New Hampshire?

Yes. New Hampshire calls its cannabis dispensaries Alternative Treatment Centers, and strictly regulates their licensing and operation. As of 2019, three organizations operate four dispensaries throughout the state.

Who manages cannabis licenses in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire has entrusted its Department of Health and Human Services with the task of managing cannabis licenses throughout the state. The department is run by a deputy commissioner who reports directly to the state’s governor.

How do I obtain a cannabis dispensary license in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law specifically limits the number of operating dispensaries in the state to four, all of which are operational as of 2019. Newcomers who wish to obtain a license will have to either acquire one of these organizations (subject to state oversight and approval) or wait for new legislation to pass.

What are the requirements for a cannabis retail license?

New Hampshire dispensaries must register as not-for-profit entities and submit a full business plan along with local-level approvals to the Department of Health and Human Services. Dispensaries must register as a charitable trust and submit all board members to background checks by the state.

How much does a cannabis retail license cost?

New Hampshire cannabis dispensary applicants pay a $3000 fee to submit their application to the state for review. Successful applicants must pay an additional $20,000 fee upon selection. All fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Are there annual licensing fees?

Yes. New Hampshire assesses an annual fee to its four cannabis dispensaries. The fee amount changes based on the respective allocation of each organization’s expenses compared to the cost of the entire program.

What license type do I need to service recreational and medical patients?

New Hampshire only allows Alternative Treatment Center license holders to sell cannabis products to qualifying patients. Cannabis dispensary license holders may also cultivate marijuana for use in cannabis products according to state law.

When will cannabis retail licenses be issued?

New Hampshire announced its first three dispensary organizations two years after passing medical marijuana legislation. There has not been a new open enrollment period since then.

Will I be able to obtain a retail license if I already have a dispensary?

If New Hampshire successfully passes a recreational legalization bill, it is likely that out-of-state dispensary owners will be in an advantageous position to obtain a retail cannabis license. The state’s fourth medical dispensary is owned by one of its first license holders.

What local (county-level) permissions will I need to operate?

New Hampshire prohibits cannabis dispensaries from operating within a zoned residential district or in a pre-existing drug-free school zone.

Cannabis Event Licensing

Do I need a license to host a cannabis event in New Hampshire?

No. New Hampshire state law does not mention cannabis events, nor do any state statutes stipulate licensing requirements for cannabis-related events.

Do I need a separate premises license for cannabis events?

No. New Hampshire state law does not provide any framework for the organization of cannabis-related events.

Can I obtain a cannabis event license if I hold a retailer license?

Medical marijuana dispensary owners in New Hampshire are free to host marijuana-themed events.

Managing Your Business in New Hampshire

How can I ensure that I remain compliant?

Because of New Hampshire’s strict reporting and security regulations, dispensary owners who plan on opening up locations in the state must appoint an experienced compliance officer who understands the state’s unique regulatory environment.

What security measures am I required to take?

New Hampshire requires cannabis dispensaries to implement video surveillance and access control systems, as well as backup power solutions to keep security systems online even during power outages. New Hampshire requires dispensaries to implement multiple alarm systems, including silent “hold-up” alarms and audible “panic” alarms.

Can I package and label cannabis in my retail store?

Yes. New Hampshire state law allows dispensaries to package cannabis products at the point of preparation according to certain rules. Cannabis products must be packaged in plain, opaque, tamper-proof containers that do not depict images, graphics, or cartoons that may be attractive to children.

Can I sell alcohol or tobacco at my cannabis retail store?

No. Cannabis dispensaries are specifically prohibited from selling anything other than cannabis products, cannabis paraphernalia, cannabis-related supplies, and education materials concerning cannabis.

Can I vertically integrate my cannabis businesses?

Yes. New Hampshire allows dispensaries to cultivate their own cannabis products and sell them. However, the process is difficult to achieve after obtaining a cannabis dispensary license – it is much easier to submit an application for a fully integrated business from the start.

Can I sample or give products away in-store?

Yes. New Hampshire state law defines “dispensing” cannabis as distributing, giving away, or selling cannabis products to qualifying patients and designated caregivers.

What are the operating hours for a retail shop?

New Hampshire doesn’t require dispensaries to adhere to regulated operating hours, but it does require dispensaries to post after-hours contact information and to give this contact information to law enforcement.

Can I have public-facing displays on my storefront?

Dispensaries may not use public-facing displays that could be interpreted as advertising to minors or non-qualifying patients, and must make reasonable efforts to limit the exposure of cannabis advertising materials to these individuals.

How old does someone need to be to buy cannabis?

New Hampshire medical marijuana cardholders must be 18 years or older. Minors with qualifying conditions must appoint a certified caregiver to purchase cannabis products on their behalf.

What is seed-to-sale reporting and what is required of retailers?

New Hampshire requires dispensaries to track all cannabis products they sell using batch numbers that apply to individual plants. These batch numbers follow the plants through the logistics chain and must be displayed on cannabis product packaging. New Hampshire dispensaries must implement solutions for tracing cannabis products securely at any point in logistics or processing and demonstrating this information to regulators.

Sources:

https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/tcp/alternative-treatment.htm

New Hampshire Marijuana Packaging Laws

New Hampshire


https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/tcp/
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-X-126-X.htm
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/state_agencies/he-c400.html

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